Comedian, writer, presenter and now children’s author, Rosie Jones has done it all!
After writing episodes for hit shows on Netflix, selling out huge venues on comedy tours, presenting countless TV shows, and bringing smiles to the world, Rosie Jones is trying her hand at becoming a Children's Author. We chat with Rosie about her exciting new book The Amazing Edie Eckhart and why it's something extra special to her.
Firstly, could you give everyone out there a little introduction into the world of Rosie Jones, who you are and what you do?
I’m Rosie Jones and I was born and brought up in Bridlington, in East Yorkshire. I’ve a condition known as Cerebral Palsy, which affects my speech, my mobility and my fine motor skills. Growing up, I never let my disability stand in the way of doing the things I wanted to do. I loved school, and my favourite subject was English. I always wanted to be a writer when I grew up.
After uni I worked as a researcher on many comedy entertainment shows and even though I really loved being a television researcher, there was a part of me that still wanted to be a writer. In 2016, I decided to try out stand-up comedy… and fell in love with performing straight away and I have never looked back. I left my job as a researcher in 2017 and became a full-time writer and comedian.
In the little spare time I have (!) I like reading, catching up with friends and sleeping!
Of course many people may not know you as being an author, what’s driven you to write a book and start this new adventure?
This book has been more than twenty-five years in the making. I loved books growing up and I was always an insanely fast reader. I walked slowly, I talked slowly, but boy, could I read quickly. Even though I was disabled, I never felt like I was ever missing out on life, because I could just open up a book and be transported to Narnia, Genovia, or even straight inside a gigantic peach. On my first day at primary school, we all had to say what we wanted to be when we grew up – I told everyone I wanted to be a children’s author. Deep down, I am still just that little girl wanting to be the next Jacqueline Wilson.
Edie Eckhart seems quite the character! Did you centre Edie around your younger self and the mischief you got up to?
Edie, like me, has Cerebral Palsy, which affects her speech and her mobility. And as the title suggests, she is amazing. She never lets her disability hold her back. She loves hanging out with her mates, going to the cinema, eating sausage rolls and looking after her little brother … apart from when he’s being annoying! In short, Edie Eckhart is just like every other eleven-year-old girl.
The character Edie also has cerebral palsy, how important is it to you that everyone is represented in books?
I read A LOT as a kid, but looking back, all of the characters were able-bodied. Despite reading hundreds of books, I never came across a main character who happened to be disabled. It was a given that somebody like me would never be the hero of the story. I wanted to change that. People with disabilities are brilliant, funny, challenging, flawed, courageous, stubborn, diverse and unique … just like everybody else. We absolutely deserve to be the hero of the story. And so Edie Eckhart was born.
What do you hope this book achieves, what’s your dream for Edie and this new era?
I hope readers enjoy getting to know all about Edie and her world. I certainly wish I’d had her in my life when I was a little girl. I hope that she inspires everyone to live their own life, ‘The Edie Way’ – without the fear of your ‘differences’ holding you back.
You can grab a copy of The Amazing Edie Eckhard here, so what are you waiting for!